"Bad News" Oscars

Originally published on March 23, 2002 | Toronto Sun | written by Toronto Sun Staff

HOLLYWOOD--Host Whoopi Goldberg has the toughest job of anyone at the 74th Oscars tomorrow night, says comic Robin Williams, who vows never to tackle the job again.

"They wanted me to host," says Williams of recent years, "but then that whole 'Take this medication!' thing occurred."

Williams, whose serious side sits cheek-to-jowl with an explosive energy that has him slinging barbs, mocking people and getting profane in a split second, admits he cannot or will not control those impulses. So he will never give in and agree to host a future Oscars.

"No, God no. Oh, please no!"

Williams says his buddy Billy Crystal, who turned it down this year, can do it again. "It's a tough gig. You have to come out and hit hard in the first five minutes, and after that you're basically an interstitial. It's a tough gig. Billy does it great. He knows. He can walk the line. You don't want me to do that. It would be bad news--very bad, very bad."

His voice dripping with sarcasm, Williams does remember his one experience helping out. "I mean, I hosted one year. It was kind of a triple host with Alan Alda and Jane Fonda--and that was so much 'fun' that I thought, I can't go back. You can't top that!"

The worst part of the Academy Awards, Williams says, is watching the organizers cut people off just when something interesting is happening in the acceptance speeches.

"It's so hard because they've got this thing: They want to have the shortest show yet the great moments are when they can't control them. It's a weird thing."

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